news – Reviving Creation

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Photo © René Théberge
Photo © René Théberge

As of its official release on June 20, the 2024 edition of Season of Creation: A Celebration Guide for Episcopal Parishes has already been authorized for use in 42 dioceses during this year’s Season of Creation (Sept. 1-Oct. 4). Rev. Margaret led the project’s growth from a local resource to adoption by a third of the Episcopal Church’s dioceses in the U.S. A press release in Episcopal News Service lists the bishops who endorsed its use in their dioceses within three weeks of pre-release review, and describes the history and contents of the worship resource. The new 2024 Liturgical Guide may be reviewed and downloaded here: https://newcreationliturgies.org/season. Bishops may authorize the materials all the way to Sept. 1, the Feast Day of Creation and the first day of Season of Creation. The names of endorsing dioceses listed on the pdf file will be updated until Sept. 1. To authorize, contact season@newcreationliturgies.org.

Rev. Margaret testified in favor of a resolution for General Convention that supports adding a worldwide, ecumenical Feast Day of Creation to our liturgical calendar. In an article reporting on the hearing (6/10/24), Episcopal News Service summarized her comments in this fifth and final online hearing ahead of the 81st General Convention, which will meet in Louisville, KY, June 23-28.

Rev. Margaret is quoted in The Martha’s Vineyard Times in an article (3/27/24) about how faith communities on the Island are working together to address climate change. She will head to Martha’s Vineyard on April 5 for a weekend of climate-related events, including speaking at the Hebrew Center’s Shabbat service, preaching at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, and leading a retreat on climate resilience for people of all faiths. The theme of the weekend is One Home One Future, the national multifaith campaign to educate, support, and mobilize congregations around climate action.

Rev. Margaret created a short video for the Episcopal Church in Colorado,“Climate Crisis & Reorienting Ourselves to Hope.” It’s the final video in a five-week Lenten series for the diocese, entitled Journey through Lament: Leaning into the Brokenness of Our Communities and World.

You can view the video here.

Questions for reflection and discussion:

1. What happens in your body when you don’t feel hope?
2. Have you ever thought of hope as having power?
3. The Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas says that hope is forward facing. What do you think she means by this?
4. Hope moves us out of withdrawal and into engagement. What is something you can do personally when it comes to the changing climate and ecological devastation? What is something we can do together?
5. What is the difference between hope and Christian hope?
6. The Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas says that Christian hope holds hands with faith and love. How do you nourish your hope with faith and love, so it doesn’t fade away?
7. What does it look like to take hold of faith when we’re in a hopeless place?
8. What do you love so much that you would give everything, perhaps your very life, to protect it?
9. How do we share our deep Christian hope with people outside our congregations?
10. The video mentions Rebecca Solnit’s quote that “Action is impossible without hope,” and “Hope should shove you out the door.” How can you commit to the future so that the present is inhabitable?
11. The Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas says that her ultimate hope is to be “the possibility of the presence and love of God being fully expressed in the world.” She invites us to name our ultimate hope and to live inside it. What is your ultimate hope?

Rev. Margaret is one of many contributors to a new devotional booklet for Lent and Easter now available from the Episcopal Dioceses of Massachusetts and Vermont. Presented with beautiful graphics, the devotional is entitled “Baptism and Collaboration in the Body of Christ.” The devotional features lay, ordained and monastic voices reflecting on the daily Scriptures of the season and the various “Will you…” questions of the baptismal covenant:

  • Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship in the breaking of the bread and in the prayers? 
  • Will you persevere in resisting evil, and whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord? 
  • Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Jesus Christ? 
  • Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself? 
  • Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? 
  • Will you cherish the wondrous works of God, and protect and restore the beauty and integrity of all creation?

You can download the devotional here.

Rev. Margaret published a guest column in The Daily Hampshire Gazette, “One Home One Future campaign unites faiths on climate” (Oct. 4, 2023). She writes, “Through One Home One Future, people of faith and spiritual people are answering the call to care for God’s creation and to ensure that our common home is thriving for our children and future generations. I hope you will join me in taking visible action in our homes, congregations, workplaces and communities, and in helping others to do the same.”

Rev. Margaret was quoted in the press release published by Episcopal News Service, “Sixteen Bishops Authorize Use of Liturgical Resource for Creation Season” (August 14, 2023). She wrote, “We are delighted that so many congregations across The Episcopal Church will be exploring faithful new ways of praying with and for God’s good Earth.” Creation Season 2023: Celebration Guide for Episcopal Parishes is now available for those who integrate Creation Season into Sunday worship (Sept. 1- Oct. 4). The resource, updated from a version released last year, now includes the lectionary texts for Year A.

Rev. Margaret was quoted by The Shoestring (July 25, 2023) in the article Climate Advocates Call Out Chase Bank’s Dirty Record.” “Desecrating the Earth is like spitting in the face of God,” she said. “No one should bank with an outfit like Chase Bank that is funding fossil fuels and contributing so decisively to the destruction of the sacred web of life.”

Rev. Margaret’s speech was quoted in the Daily Hampshire Gazette article (March 22, 2023) that covered the climate rally in downtown Northampton to confront Chase Bank and the other big banks that fund fossil fuel expansion.  “Fear, sorrow and anger have brought us here. But above all, we are here because we love, we love this beautiful earth,” she said. “We are here to stand up for life, and we are not alone. We will speak and sing and march in the company and with the support of all the creatures and elements with whom we share this planet.”

The Anglican Communion has just released “Renewing the Life of the Earth: An Eco-Theology Resource.” Rev. Margaret contributed a 6-minute video about how the Church’s mission must change in a time of climate/ecological emergency. The new resource includes brief video presentations on ecological theology and practice from a range of voices across the Anglican Communion. It is designed for anyone who wants to start to engage with issues relating to ecological theology and practice. You can download the complete eco-theology resource here. It includes links to all the videos and a study guide that makes it easy for individuals and groups to explore and discuss the material. You can view Rev. Margaret’s video here.

Just published!  A Prisoner and You Visited Me, ed. James Knipper, is a new collection of homilies and reflections for Year A from Clear Faith Publishing. Rev. Margaret contributed a sermon. Other contributors include Richard Rohr, James Martin, SJ, Jan Richardson, Brian McLaren, and many more. All proceeds from book sales go to nonprofits that serve and support people who are living on the margins.  Choose from the soft-covered book, the Kindle version, and the Apple iBook version.

Rev. Margaret was a guest columnist for Daily Hampshire Gazette, writing an article, “How to Close a Bank” (November 17, 2022). Click here to read it.

Just published! Sundays and Seasons: Guide to Worship Planning, Year A 2023 is the indispensable annual guide to worship planning that follows the church year and the Revised Common Lectionary. Margaret contributed 16 entries in “Connections with Creation.”  For more information and to order your copy, visit Augsburg Fortress.

 

New book to be released on Earth Day! Margaret contributed a reflection to The Creation Care Bible Challenge: A 50 Day Bible Challenge. Edited by Marek P. Zabriskie, this remarkable collection features fifty days of reflections composed by scholars, priests, bishops, and leaders from around the Anglican Communion.  The book can be ordered from the publisher, Forward Movement, and wherever books are sold. #ForwardDayByDay

 

Just published!  Thirsty, and You Gave Me Drink is a new collection of homilies and reflections for Cycle C, edited by Jim Knipper, to which Rev. Margaret contributed a sermon on Luke 14:1, 7-14. Other contributors include Richard Rohr, Brian McLaren, Mark Bozzutti-Jones, Jan Richardson, and many more. Proceeds from the sale of every book go to non-profits that give drink to those who thirst.  Choose from the soft-covered book, the Kindle version, and the Apple iBook version.

 

In October 2021, Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, MA) published Margaret’s op-ed, “Fasting and Climate Change.

In October 2021 Episcopal News Service published an interview, “Q&A: The Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas on living into the climate crisis with resilience.”

 

Rev. Margaret’s article, “Climate Change, Addiction, and Spiritual Liberation,” was published on 1 September, 2021, by Religions, as part of a special issue on “Spirituality and Addiction.” Abstract of the article: Climate scientists have sounded the alarm: The only way to preserve a planet that is generally habitable for human beings is to carry out a transformation of society at a rate and scale that are historically unprecedented. Can we do this? Will we do this? Drawing on her long-term recovery from addiction and on her decades of ministry as a climate activist, the author reflects on how understanding the dynamics of addiction and recovery might inform our efforts to protect the web of life and to bear witness to the liberating God of love who makes all things new. To download a pdf, click here.

Margaret was interviewed in June 2021 by Spirit Matters. The wide-ranging conversation covered spirituality, faith, climate action, and hope.  You can find a link at the Spirit Matters Website and on YouTube.

The Anglican Theological Review gives ROOTED AND RISING: VOICES OF COURAGE IN A TIME OF CLIMATE CRISIS a thoughtful and positive review! From the Spring 2021 (Vol. 103, No. 2) issue, here is an excerpt from the review by Perry Hodgkins Jones: “Whether hopeful or hopeless, each writer is deeply compelled to work, fight, heal, gather, pray, and insist on a more just world. We are urged to see the climate crisis with open eyes, drinking in the pain and lamentation of the world, human and non-human alike, and persevere toward change. It is motivating to read about each author’s experience of a clear dissipation of fog around purpose and how or why they have committed to making a difference, in whatever way or on whatever scale is possible in their communities.”

Margaret contributed to the new Lenten devotional, PLANTING SEEDS OF HOPE: 40 DEVOTIONS ON CREATION, prepared by Anglican Communion Environmental Network in memory of Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya, the first woman bishop in Africa and one of the pioneer Eco Bishops of the Anglican Communion.

A NEW BOOK! Margaret contributed a sermon to the new anthology, A Stranger and You Welcomed Me: Homilies and Reflections for Cycle B, ed. Jim Knipper. Other contributors include Nadia Boltz-Weber, Brian McLaren, Richard Rohr, and Mark Bozzuti-Jones. All proceeds from book sales go to groups that help immigrants, refugees, and those who are undocumented.

As the first chaplain-in-residence for the 2020 CHQ Assembly, Margaret was interviewed for the article, “Bullitt-Jonas to preach on Faith for the Earth for Week One” (June 27, 2020).

With Leah Schade, Margaret co-wrote an article, “Earth Day turns 50: ‘The Earth is where all of us are sheltering in place,‘” published by Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, MA), April 20, 2020.

Margaret was interviewed for an article by reporter Steve Pfarrer, “Confronting climate change: Facing down the emotional and psychological costs of environmental chaos” (Daily Hampshire Gazette, Dec. 24, 2019).

With Leah Schade, Margaret co-wrote an op-ed, “Greta Thunberg compels us all to be prophets,” published by newspapers in Louisville, KY; Frankfort, KY; and Northampton, MA (Dec. 18, 2019).

Margaret contributed a prayer to the new collection, “Standing in the Need of Prayer, Vol. IV,” SPIRITUAL VOICES: ENVISIONING JUST PEACE WITH EARTH, distributed through Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, available online here.

Margaret contributed to ecoAmerica’s new report, How Faith Communities Fuel Social Movements: Lessons for Climate Advocacy from the Immigration, Black Lives Matter, and President Trump Election Campaigns.

Earth Island Journal published Margaret’s article, “God in the Machine,” in its Autumn 2019 issue. Click here to read it.

How To Preach on the Green New Deal: Margaret contributed one of the tips to this resource for preaching

ROOTED & RISING: VOICES OF COURAGE IN A TIME OF CLIMATE CRISIS is now available for pre-order! Click here to reserve your copy.

Margaret publishes two articles, “Sustain Island Home: Standing up for life” and “We resolved to make a difference in 2019,” in Abundant Times (Winter/Spring, 2019)

Margaret is interviewed about her forthcoming book in an article, “Finding hope and courage in face of climate change” (March 13, 2019)

Margaret’s op-ed, “Opposing Rollbacks to the Magnuson-Steven Act,” is published in Daily Hampshire Gazette (January 16, 2019)

Margaret is quoted in an article, “Faith and science communities join forces to change the world” (November 10, 2018)

Margaret is quoted in an article about science and faith coming together on Cape Cod to tackle the climate crisis, “Sandwich forum focuses on spiritual collaboration in efforts to fight global warming” (November 4, 2018)

Margaret is quoted in an article about the crowds who gathered at a synagogue in Northampton, MA to honor the 11 victims of the shooting in Pittsburgh, PA (Oct. 30, 2018)

Margaret reports on an international symposium about the climate crisis, held in Greece, June 3-5, 2018, in Episcopal News Service.  The article is here.

Margaret is quoted in a report by Anglican News on Massachusetts faith leaders and scientists joining forces in a climate change emergency appeal (May 31, 2018).

Hot off the presses!  Margaret contributed an essay to a collection of essays published in Spring 2018 by SEARCH: A Church of Ireland Journal, on the topic: The Episcopal Church — Standing Up to Climate Change Denial.

Margaret’s monthly “Creation Care Network” e-news is now available on this website. It includes opportunities to learn, pray, act and advocate for the earth. View the archive or subscribe here.

Margaret’s Letter to the Editor is published in the Boston Globe, “Trump is spitting in God’s face by slashing national monuments” (Dec. 15, 2017)

A resolution on climate justice that Margaret presented to the Social Justice Commission passed unanimously at the diocesan convention of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts (Nov. 9, 2017)

With Rabbi Katy Z. Allen, Margaret writes an op ed for MetroWest Daily News, “To love God and neighbor, put a price on carbon pollution” (October 22, 2017)

Margaret’s op-ed, “Harvey reinforces urgency of climate crisis,” is featured in Daily Hampshire Gazette, September 5, 2017.

Margaret wins 2016 EcoPreacher Contest for her sermon, “Sacred Earth, Sacred Trust.”

Margaret was interviewed by masslive (Springfield, MA): Climate change “threatens everything we love” (October 16, 2016)

Margaret gives keynote address, “Climate Change: An Emergency of the Heart,” for an interfaith forum on Oct. 30, 2016, in Springfield, MA.

In September 2016 Margaret received the 2016 “Steward of God’s Creation Award” from the National Religious Coalition on Creation Care.

Margaret’s climate justice ministry goes ecumenical: as of Feb. 24, 2016, she now serves both the Episcopal Diocese of Western Mass. and the Mass. Conference, United Church of Christ.

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